CANADA – Millionaire entrepreneur, investor, and star of the hit series Shark Tank Kevin O’Leary this week expressed unbridled that poverty is running rampant across the globe. On the popular Canadian business news program Lang & O’Leary Exchange, co-host Amanda Lang brought up the recent report from Oxfam International stating that the world’s 85 richest people have as much wealth as the world’s poorest three and a half billion.
“It’s fantastic,” responded O’Leary. “And this is a great thing because it inspires everybody. They get motivation to look up to the one percent and say I want to become one of the people. I am going to fight hard to get up to the top. This is fantastic news and of course I applaud it. What can be wrong with this?”
He then proceeded to list reasons why such extreme concentrated wealth was a great thing, stating that “poverty-stricken people will work for almost nothing, and that savings is passed on to you,” “nations need poor people to form the bulk of their armies,” and “it’s very easy to get the poor to do whatever you want, just dangle a few crumbs in their face and they’re yours.”
Seemingly stunned by her co-host’s reply, Lang tried to redirect him by pointing out that a dirt-poor child in Africa has little to no chance of ever climbing out of poverty. O’Leary, however, would have none of it. “Don’t tell me you want to redistribute wealth again,” he said before emphatically claiming that Oxfam’s finding that 85 people have the wealth of 3.5 billion is “A celebratory stat. I am very excited about it. I am wonderful to see it happen.
“You get a fact like this out there and poor people are able to finally give up hope,” he added. “That kid you’re so worried about? He’s relieved to know the deck is stacked against him. Now he can go work in the diamond mines for a couple of years before he dies and know that was the best he was ever going to do. Is he going to have a decent life? Of course not. But he should have thought of that before he made the poor decision to be born into an African slum.”